The Arab coalition and Yemen’s foreign ministry have denied Iran’s accusation that Saudi fighter jets struck its embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
Iran on Thursday said the warplanes had attacked the building on Wednesday night, an allegation that has heightened tensions between the regional powers.
But the coalition on Thursday night rejected the accusation as “false and void”, saying that it did not carry out any operations “in the vicinity of the embassy or near it”.
“The coalition command urged that all diplomatic missions in Sanaa should not provide an opportunity for militias to use diplomatic missions’ buildings in any military action,” it said in a statement on the state Saudi news agency SPA.
Yemen’s foreign ministry also said the embassy building had been targeted, according to the government-run state news agency, sabanew.net.
Backed by the Arab coalition, assembled by Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s government, led by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is battling the Iran-allied Houthis and fighters loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran after an attack on its embassy in Tehran on Sunday following the kingdom’s execution of 47 people convicted on terrorism charges, including Shia religious leader Nimr al-Nimr.
The diplomatic dispute appears to have damaged the outlook for any resolution to the conflict in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a war with the Houthis in March last year, when Hadi first fled Aden for Riyadh.
Although the war began with air strikes, the coalition has since provided ground forces in the war.
In another Yemen-related development, the UN chief has deplored the government’s decision to expel the organisation’s human rights representative in the country.
Media reports in Yemen said on Thursday the foreign ministry had declared the head of the country office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) persona non grata.